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Impact of special offers on train tickets

Research assessing the performance of a targeted, GNER promotional campaign, together with specific service feedback from on-board customers

Key benefits:

  • Ability to evaluate the success of the scheme
  • Insight into various issues to help plan future strategies

Our Assigment

In the early part of 2002, Great North Eastern Railway (GNER) introduced a range of special offer single tickets whereby rail passengers could travel anywhere on the GNER route (between Inverness and London Kings Cross) for between £5 and £15 when booked in advance. This scheme was for a limited period only, and to analyse the uptake and general success of the promotion, NEMS market research were commissioned to carry out an in-depth study amongst customers present on GNER services, also incorporating passenger feedback concerning their on-board catering service.


The detailed research design ensured the Client was supplied with sufficient data to label the special offer ticket promotion a resounding success. A total of 620 interviews were completed amongst GNER passengers across the entire route; a sample which was analysed not only by demographic breakdown, but also by how likely respondents were to use GNER services in the future. Extra analysis such as that requested by the Client enabled a greater insight and therefore understanding of the collected data.


Post-research, the Client was able to evaluate fully the success of the price-reduction scheme through the provision of detailed data tabulations. Interpretation not only provided insight solely relevant to that particular promotion, but also key information on wider issues such as likely future GNER usage, ticket purchasing habits etc.; areas which can be used to plan future company strategies aimed at satisfying the needs of their valued customers.

Our Approach

In accordance with the detailed requirements of the Client, the questionnaire content was comprehensive to ensure all pertinent issues, including areas such as awareness of the offer, how they were made aware, popularity of the offer etc., were covered in full.
Interviews were conducted on-board several trains across the GNER network, amongst a mixed sample of passengers who both held or did not hold a special offer ticket when questioned. Interviewers were instructed to carry out as many complete face-to-face interviews as possible for the duration of their assigned service.

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